What Is Social Sustainability?

Sustainable development requires social sustainability. Understand what it means and how your business can contribute.

“The Basics” provides essential knowledge about core business sustainability topics.

Social sustainability often gets less attention than environmental sustainability. But it’s just as important.

Sometimes, people avoid it because it can seem confusing. In this article, we define the concept and how businesses – and other organizations – can make it real.

What Is Social Sustainability?

At its core, social sustainability means the aspects of sustainability that relate to people. That’s according to British researcher Dr. Laura Spence, who has studied social sustainability for years.

Sustainability is commonly defined as “meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Simply said, it’s about ensuring that humans have what they need, now and in the future. Of course, part of that means ensuring that the physical environment stays in good shape. But really, the emphasis in social sustainability is on ensuring humans have what they need.

The Sustainable Development Goals identify specific aspects

What fits under the huge umbrella of "ensuring humans have what they need?" The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) give a comprehensive overview. Social issues covered by the SDGs are poverty, hunger, health and wellbeing, education, gender equality, decent work and dignity, inequality, and peace and justice.

Linking these social sustainability topics are the ideas of human rights and social justice: that everyone is equal and that opportunities should be fairly distributed.

Social sustainability is important

Social sustainability matters for individuals and for society. It also matters for organizations, including businesses. They have the capacity to shape change and to benefit from it. For example, employees, suppliers, and partners who feel respected and safe are more loyal and productive. Similarly, businesses generally don’t thrive when society struggles: for example, unequal societies dampen long-term economic growth.

We know that the description of social sustainability can sound big picture and abstract. Luckily, experts like Laura Spence have boiled down the topic into actionable steps businesses can take.

4-Day Working Week

At SigmaDigital we believe in a work hard play hard attitude. For this reason we decided to opt for a four-day workweek with a normal week's salary! It's reported this leads to a 20% gain in employee productivity and also a 27% reduction in work stress levels and a 45% increase in work-life balance.
Social Sustainability Agency Dubai

BAYZAT

We have partnered with BAYZAT to provide our team a world-class experience that, until now, has only been available to large corporations, full of benefits to boost their health, wellbeing, productivity and loyalty.
Social Sustainability Agency Dubai

Goodbye Zoom Meetings

Hello Metaverse! This year we will be providing all of our clients with their own Oculus Quest allowing them to access Horizon Workrooms, a virtual meeting space where you and your Happiness Hero can work better together, discuss your monthly results and future strategy, from anywhere.
Social Sustainability Agency Dubai (1)